Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Travis Peterson, Madison Scouts' horn sergeant

The DCI.org interview: Travis Peterson, Madison Scouts' horn sergeant

by Drum Corps International

Name, hometown, corps: Travis Peterson; Milaca, Minn.; the Madison Scouts What is your role in the corps this summer? I am the horn sergeant Where do you go to school, and what extracurricular activities are you involved with there? I am a junior music education major at Indiana University -- Bloomington,
Ind. Most of the extracurricular activities that I am involved with are playing gigs through the school of music. They include the IU Marching Hundred, basketball band, Crabb Band (small soccer pep band), brass quintet, trumpet quartet, Bill Chase Ensemble, wind ensemble, university and concert orchestra.

Travis Peterson (right) and friend
Give us your full drum corps/marching music background, and how each position prepared you for the leadership role you're in this summer. I remember back when I was quite young and my dad was in the Milaca Alumni Marching Band and I loved to watch them perform. My parents have been going to random DCI shows since the '70s, and it just so happens that when finals were in Madison in 1992, I was there, but unfortunately I was only 9 years old and fell asleep half way through the night. Then my first experience in a marching band was in fifth grade, of course only doing one parade but at the same time being completely floored about the experience. I was in my middle school summer marching band through seventh grade and then after my eighth grade year I joined the high school marching band, which I thought was amazing, and it was a lot of fun. My band director, Leon Sieve, actually marched in the Scouts guard back in 1989 and 1991, so he had many different corps videos and one day after school, he let me borrow them (I think it was the '91 and '95 videos and I watched them endlessly falling in love with drum corps). During that first summer of doing around 10 parades in Minnesota, Mr. Sieve took anybody who wanted to go to the Stillwater show. This was in1997 and if I remember correctly there were big names there like the Scouts, Cadets, Crossmen and Bluecoats. I of course thought Scouts should have won, but I believe the Cadets did, which was cool because that happens to be one of my favorite shows. From the moment I saw the Scouts come on the field and I was able to hear them, I knew that I had to be a part of what was on the field. The next summer I was in marching band again and I attended the Stillwater show again and my parents took me to the Mankato show so I could see the Scouts rehearse and perform. I was truly blown away by the rehearsal and this made me want to be in the Madison Scouts even more. Later that summer my dad, me and my best friend traveled to Wisconsin to see Capital Sound because my parents were thinking of letting me do that the next summer. I thought they were awesome too, and I knew that I needed to try my hardest to be a part of Cap Sound the next summer in order to help me prepare for the Scouts. I had never done a field show until I joined drum corps. So the next summer (winter) I joined the crew of Cap Sound. This was a great experience and I even had a solo, which I though was pretty sweet being that I had only just turned 16. I remember being at numerous shows throughout the summer seeing the Scouts from the sideline and hearing/seeing the crowd go absolutely bananas, and it made me want to be in the Scouts even more. This experience definitely helped in my preparation for the Scouts. I auditioned for the scouts the next fall (1999) and to my surprise I made it, thinking of course I was not going to, but thankfully I did. That was the beginning of what sounds like a very long road, but short chapter of drum corps in my life. I have been with the Scouts since then and am very much looking forward to what lies ahead for the 2004 edition of the Madison Scouts.
The last good book I read: Call me a weird, but it was "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which I read during the 2003 tour. The last great film I saw: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: 1. American Brass Quintet, "The Music of Eric Ewazen"
2. "Madison Scouts through the years Part II"
3. "John Williams' Greatest Hits" My favorite TV show: "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" Favorite performers: Arturo Sandoval How do you "blow off steam?" I either practice or go running Why I march with the corps I am in: The reason that I march with the Madison Scouts is because I love the response that we get from the crowd and the brotherhood. It's awesome to know that my brothers will always be there for me and I will always be there for them. Was it always your goal to be in a leadership role? I wouldn't necessarily say that I was determined to be horn sergeant or in a leadership role when I was a rookie, but I knew that it was and is a desirable yet very important role to be in. Since my rookie year I have always tried to be the best member of the Scouts that I could both on and off the field. How will you go about balancing the roles of leader and corpsmate? I just need to realize (and I do realize at this point) that there are certain things that the whole horn line needs to hear my opinion on, but at the same time many things do not need to be known by the entire horn line, just the section leaders, drum majors and staff members. I think that the best leaders are those who have an equal balance of both leadership skills and friendship with the entire group on an individual basis. What has been your formative drum corps moment? I would have to say that it would be when I saw the Scouts and all the other corps perform in Stillwater. Just sitting in the audience and realizing that I wanted to do that someday and knowing that practically every kid in the audience in some way or another would like to be a part of what they were witnessing really motivated me to get involved in drum corps. Corps' performances can have a huge impact on the viewer, which I absolutely love. Best drum corps show ever: Hands down Scouts 1995. I can watch this show over and over again, which I do, and I never get sick of it. It is really amazing because the output of energy that the corps delivers is unbelieveable. Even when I simply listen to the recording of it I can feel the energy they are putting out through the speakers. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Performances, fellowship time with my brothers (bus time), meeting new people, seeing how the show comes together. Best thing about being a drum corps leader: I think that it is an experience of a lifetime and will benefit me for the rest of my life. This will really help me learn what it is to be a leader, because it is such an important position to have and it is also a huge responsibility. Worst thing about being a drum corps leader: I can't just coast through the summer worrying about my own game, I have to think about everybody in the horn line and think about what is best for them all. During tour, the best part of the day is: Other than performing, the best part of the day is right after rehearsal, when we usually have an hour or two of down time. It's always nice to relax a little. During tour, the worst part of the day is: The infamous wake-up whistle in the morning. Favorite drum corps personality and why: Steve Rondinaro -- because I have seen him in every video that I have and he seems to know everything about the activity. What do you want to be when your drum corps career is over? I am going to graduate from Indiana University with a music ed degree, but hope to get a good performance gig. I also wanted to stay connected with the drum corps activity in some way whether its teaching or just simply volunteering my time.

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